LINCOLN, Neb. (AP & KMTV) — Agriculture officials say another large outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza, better known as bird flu, has been confirmed on a farm in northeast Nebraska.
The outbreak was reported Wednesday in Knox County, which is located along the South Dakota border. The Nebraska Department of Agriculture says a flock of 2.1 million laying hens on the farm will be euthanized. This is the largest flock to become contaminated in any of Nebraska's avian influenza outbreaks so far this year.
A 6.2-mile control radius will be established around the farm, which was not publicly identified, in an attempt to limit the spread to other flocks.
The previous largest outbreak of avian influenza in Nebraska was announced just last week, when a commercial flock of 1.7 million hens had to be depopulated.
The state agriculture department also announced Wednesday that an order prohibiting any type of birds from events such as fairs, swap meets and live bird auctions has been extended to May 15. It was previously scheduled to expire on Saturday.
Wednesday's discovery marks the seventh confirmed case of avian influenza in Nebraska this year. Bird flu was first discovered in the region on March 2 in a mixed backyard flock in Pottawattamie County. Since then, both states have urged poultry farmers and domestic flock owners to practice good biosecurity measures including restricting access to birds, refraining from sharing tools or equipment from flock to flock and recognizing the symptoms of HPAI.
The disease is often deadly to commercial and domestic birds and is often transmitted from wild birds, where the virus occurs naturally. There are currently no confirmed human cases of bird flu, but the risk remains for those that rely on poultry for business or food production.